Episode 7-Secret of the Lair
'Adventure 14-S2 Nix & Xextuss-Storm Clouds
Part One-Escaping Varonat
Nix and Xextuss found Blu unconscious and and shot several times as they rushed to the hangar in the attempt to escape from the bounty hunters and Stormtroopers who had just attacked them. They drag the Rodian to the medical bay of the Horizon's Edge and assist the still unnamed 2-1B medical droid in stabilizing him. Once that was done they rushed to the cockpit of the Horizon's Edge, which Bel had been prepping for take-off, and lifted off.
Quickly, they checked with the rest of their party and found out that everyone had safely made it to separate ships and agreed to split up in order to help throw off their pursuers. Immediately after the communication they were swarmed by TIE fighters intent on bringing them down. Although the other ships had fighters to deal with, It seemed that the Empire was intent on bringing down the Horizon's Edge and it easily had twice the number of ships attacking it. Cutting through the atmosphere was an Imperial Star Destroyer attempting to close off their escape from above.
Spotting that three of the TIEs were of a different design, the cockpit section was expanded, so Xextuss focused on taking out the closest one, while Nix took on the closest fighter and Bel worked the shields.
After being accustomed to having a much larger crew to man all the stations, Nix realized quickly how short handed they were as the ship was pelted with blaster fire and the shields quickly dropped to dangerous levels. Xextuss's missile struck the unusual TIE ship in the cockpit section and they saw Stormtroopers in jump gear falling to their death. The unusual ships were TIE Transports carrying troopers meant to board their ship.
As Nix kept the Horizon's Edge close to the ground to avoid the tractor beams that the Star Destroyer certainly had targeted on them, he fought off several dog fight encounters. However there were just too many bogeys and a TIE transport was able to fly over the Horizon's Edge.
While Xextuss locked another missile on his target, several load thuds could be heard hitting the hull. Bel continued to work frantically to increase the power of the shields but she lacked the experience of Ar'Ryn and with the lack of an astromech droid the process was difficult.
As sensors in the cockpit flashed warnings that the hull had been breached in two sections, Xextus flew into action. He yelled to Bel to shut the doors between them and the boarders to hinder the intruders and to avoid being too out gunned. As he passed through the door leading to the cockpit, he had Bel close it off so that the troopers couldn't storm the cockpit.
Nix kept his concentration on the fire fight in the sky and skillfully dodged a spinning, flaming TIE fighter causing to to crash into the three ships tailing him. The Star Destroyer kept closing in and Nix had to fight the pull of the tractor beams while out maneuvering TIEs who were attempting to dogfight him. The ship took some sever damage but the cocky pilot proved his skills and kept the bird in the air.
In the hallway, Xextuss encountered his first two Jump-Troopers. He relayed to Bel for her to open the door to his private room and to released the ammonia gas into the main hold in an attempt to stop the the other Jump-troopers that he couldn't see, who were surely trying to sabotage the ship's engines. He took aim at the front trooper, hitting him square in the head and knocking off his helmet. The scarred clone trooper of many battles dropped his weapon and pulled out a pair of virbo-blades and began rushing at the Gand.
As Bel followed the Gand's orders, Xextuss dodged the vibro-knive attacks of the enraged trooper and used his opponent's body to avoid the laser fire from a second trooper. Knocking one of the vibro-knives from the trooper's grip, Xextuss brought his vibro-knife bayoneted rifle straight up into his jaw and pulled the trigger. The headless trooper hit the floor and Xextuss closed in the next trooper.
Taking out another pair of TIEs Nix handed the controls over to Bel and prepared to help his buddy in the hallway deal with the boarders. However, the ship rocked hard from getting hit by the edge of the tractor beam. Realizing that the fight in the sky still wasn't over, Nix hopped back into the pilot's seat and fought to keep the ship from getting pulled aboard the massive Imperial vessel.
Xextuss was able to keep on his feet and took the fight to the second Jump-Trooper. He was hit by blaster fire but didn't go down. He return fire in kind and scored a massive hit. The trooper fell to the deck and the Gand instructed Bel to open the doors that lead to the main hold. Nix cleared the last of the TIE fighters out of his way and was able to out-run the Star Destroyer and it's tractor beam.
Opening the vents, the poisonous gases was replaced with oxygen and Xextuss and Nix entered the hold. The found two dead Jump-Troopers who had been over-come with the toxic gas. They had planted explosives on the engines but had succumbed just seconds from detonating them.
The two quickly and safely removed the explosives and stored them. Then they took elements off of the trooper's armor to strengthen the Gand's suit and Nix was able to piece together an entire suit for his own use. Landing in a concealed spot, the three of them were able to patch together the damage to the hull caused by the entry of the Jump-troopers, making it safe for travel in the vacuum of space and left the planet Varonat behind them.
Part Two-The Unknown Crew Member
Needing to get Blu to a medical facility as soon as possible, they decided to head to the Bespin system that was close by and get him help at Cloud City. They were finally able to make contact with Arrianya Bel Iblis using the holo-net for the first time since communication was cut off after leaving the black hole swarm. She informed them that they were almost ready to give all the heroes up for dead after not hearing from them in over a month but that she came out to this region to personally look for them.
She told them how the Empire had shut down galaxy wide communication on the holo-net and that it is now limited to just system wide use. She had traveled to Bespin in the hope that if they were stranded out past the rim that the surviving heroes would be able to make it Cloud City for repairs (plus she knew Nix would try to make it to the Sabbac tournament if he still lived).
They were told that she was also traveling to Cloud City undercover on a secret mission and not to approach her if they recognized her. Before she signed off she told them that Senator Greyshade would most likely be there to play the tournament and, as before, to be careful of his motives. She provided Xextuss' false identity with some very needed credits. Much relived to find out that everyone back in Kellos was fine, the two space-hoppers began to wonder who or what attacked Blu back on Varonat.
They asked Bel if she saw anything but because she was onboard the ship prepping it for take off she didn't see what happen in the hangar. Fearing that they might have the attacker still on the ship they decided to search every nook, secret compartment and crawl space from the top to the bottom of the ship. To their utter amazement they found a deactivated protocol squeezed into a small section near the extended range fuel cells.
The droid reactivated and introduced itself as TD-P1, the protocol droid that they had met on the Wheel. Asked what it was doing in their ship it told them that it was bored with it's duties on the Wheel and asked the unnamed medical droid if it could travel aboard their ship. It found a place to stow away but accidently shut itself down and had been powered down the past two months. It had meant to reveal itself after they left the Transitory Mist and to offer it's services in return for passage.
Completely floored by this development, the two quickly confronted the medical droid to see if he did indeed let a strange droid stow away on their ship. To their utter shock the droid answered that it did and that at no time was it instructed not to let other beings or droids onboard. Horrified by this knowledge, they quickly inquired if it had let anyone or anything else onboard. To their relief the droid informed them that it hasn't.
Realizing that the medical droid was also on board when Blu was attacked they asked if it saw the attack take place. It didn't and they realize that they hardly have ever dealt with the medical droid and had only been treating as another piece of Cluade's medical tools and not as a member of the crew.
The medical droid seems distant from it's lack of involvement and it reminded them that it doesn't even have a name besides it's standard model number. They named it C2-EB and instructed it to not let any non-approved being or droid on board the ship again without asking one of the party members first. With that they continued their jump to their destination.
Part Three-Fun and Rest in the Clouds
As they flew in for a landing at the gorgeous Cloud City they are buzzed by a modified YT-1300f light freighter with the markings of a Blazing Claw, a common signifier of a pirate vessel. The ship has an usual design in that it has a pair of wings that come off of the main hull and a heavily modified engine. They lost sight of the ship as it lands in a different section of the massive station.
After landing, the first thing that they do is check Blu into the medical facility. They are told that he has been stabilized and they will have to wait a few days to see if he recovers. Having been cramped on the ship for the past two months and going non-stop for the past half year, Bel demanded that they stay in a classy hotel. After getting their suite of rooms, Nix hired a blue skin Twi'lek companion for Xextuss, making good on a promise made during the frantic escape from Varonat.
The following day Nix entered the lastest leg of the grand Wheel Sabbac tournament, which was already three days into the competition. This segment of the tournament had several variant rules that were specific to the Cloud City location but the rogue was able to keep up. Nix used the same false ID to enter and, because of his poor standing at the end of first tournament that he took part in on the Wheel, he found his pairings to be well below his skill and easily won his first two days of playing.
While Nix was busy in the tournament, Xextuss had the time to explore the city and found an under-ground weapons shop. He had a custom-made jet pack created that contained special features. Having more time to kill, the fighter rented a modified swoop-bike and practiced his skills on the open air track located in the lower part of the city. He was challenged to a series of races by the local bikers. Having never raced before, the Gand was unsure of his chances but soon discovered a hidden talent and won a decent amount of money doing so.
After the day's events the two met back at their suite of rooms. Bel returned from overseeing the final repairs to the ship and the threesome went to the medical bay to check on their injured friend. Finding Blu still unresponsive but improving, the three headed out to experience the what the nightlife of Cloud city had to offer them.....
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